Sucker Punch Review
Director Zack Snyder's stylistic composition of an action-fantasy epic
As you might know this is our first Movie Review, and it's on the movie "Sucker Punch", directed by Zack Snyder and was released in theaters March 25th
Sucker Punch revolves around the character Baby Doll (Emily Browning) who has slipped into depression after the death of her mother, and is admitted against her will into an asylum for troubled young women. Blue (Oscar Isaac) is the big man on campus at what Baby Doll soon learns is a vicious penitentiary to be put lightly, but Madame Gorski (Carla Gugino) helps Baby Doll and the other girls cope by means of dance and creativity. Retreating into her imagination, Baby Doll devises a plan to escape and she intends to bring her fellow inmates Sweat Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) for the ride. Assigned with 5 tasks, together the girls must complete them to escape and avoid having their leader Baby Doll brought before her biggest fear; the High Roller.
An interesting dynamic is added to the film as there are three worlds brought into play that the movie weaves back and forth between. The first world we are introduced to is the harsh reality of what these girls have to live with in the Asylum. We see that this world is much more gray and grim than the life we know and live in is. The second is like a sub-realm in Baby Doll's mind where there are bits of colour, and instead of an Asylum the girls work in a bordello where things are a bit more exciting. The third realm is where things get trippy as we are taken further into Baby Doll's imagination by her expression through dance. This world is where the fun begins and the visual extravaganza composed by visionary director Zack Snyder. Samurai, steam-punk Nazi troops, WWII bi-plane battles, sexy girl squads, dragons and robots all inhabit this eye-candied universe.
What Sucker Punch brings to the table that is deserving of praise is the amount of creativity, ambition and risks that were taken to create such a unique film. This was Snyder's first crack, or sucker punch if you prefer, at writing his own original script without reinventing one of Frank Miller's graphic novels. What is interesting about this and his former movies is that they carry the genre of action around, but unlike most action movies --that are scared of words like: tripods, stabilized cameras, static shots-- Snyder finds a way to make something where almost every shot in an action sequence is an artistic composition or a matte painting. He has perfected a whole new style of action movie during his illustrious career and has finally hit one out of the park with Sucker Punch.
Plot - In terms of plot, it should be said that Sucker Punch does have one, it was just not something as riveting as the visuals in it. If you go in expecting Inception, you will be severely disappointed. If you go in expecting just an action flick, you will probably impressed with an above average plot. the weakest point in the development of the story was how there was 5 tasks to be completed. The problem with situations like this where the audience is aware of plot points to come as they are numbered (the 5 tasks), similarly done in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (7 ex-boyfriends), is that it destroys the element of flow. A direct flight is so much better than making frequent stops at checkpoints. Another annoyance was the blurry transitions between realities, making it sometimes hard to understand what is really happening, or making you question the significance of a certain reality.
Although it does have its low points, the plot actually has more depth to it than you might think thanks to the parallels drawn between different realities and an unexpected ending.
Appearance - The visuals in Sucker Punch will stay etched in your mind for a while as it was possible the most exciting images ever put on the big screen along with Avatar and the jazzed up TRON: Legacy. There isn't much more to be said than positive things about these extraordinary visuals. The stylistic freedom and mood that was brought out by Sucker Punch's look is something that will be hard to top, whoever does will have done something in-human.
Performances - The performances in Sucker Punch weren't that great but they weren't terrible either. Carla Gugino as the polish Madame Gorski was probably the best acting done out of the whole cast. Emily Browning as Baby Doll is a close second, masking her Australian accent decently and managing to take control of her innocent, quiet and cute character, although she isn't the most lively. Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish are probably next in line as they did splendid jobs of all their duties on screen while managing to garner sympathy for their characters. Oscar Isaac as Blue did what he probably set out to do to be a hated villain, and for that he is commended. Jamie Chung was sexy, and that's about it. The weakest performance was by Vanessa Hudgens as.....well....she should stick to High School Musical.
Soundtrack - Sucker Punch has the best soundtrack of 2011 so far. Their remixes of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), White Rabbit and Search and Destroy were inventive and some of the tastiest songs to go with eye-catching movie. Emily Browning also lends her beautiful voice in a couple of the songs which made her such a lovable person to look upon on screen. Honesty, the soundtrack of this movie fit perfectly with the moods brought about, and is worth buying.
Sucker Punch is action-packed, visual epic with a mediocre plot, average performances and a great soundtrack. You are going to want to see this one for yourself at least once in theaters, just make sure to go in without any great expectations!
***Visua's Favorite Moments:
"The opening sequence is one of the best I've seen ever, next to that of Watchmen and Saving Private Ryan. Look for this and drink it in when you watch it"
-Visua, AudioVisua Productions